CHOGORIA 7 – DAY CAMPING HIKE

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DAY.1

On this day, the group (guide/s, porters, cook/s, & clients) leave Chogoria villages at 9.00 am and dive up through the rain forest on the eastern side of the mountain, to bairunyi camp site alt. (2700), where they put up camp, eat lunch and a little rest then taken on a guided tour of the area, taught about plant and animal life and their co-existence. Of great importance, is camping and hiking ethics. The group then settles down for super, after which they exchange views and ideas of the general scope of camping and hiking, telling tell tales and retire to bed.

DAY 2:

The group leaves the camp site at 9.00 a.m. and starts the real trek on a fairly steep uphill at a slow steady pace, doing a 5km stretch of track that cuts through beautiful bamboo forest to come to a steep uphill (KINONDONI), which ends ½ Km below the park gate (Mt. Kenya National park). The moorland starts here and the group can view the mountain quite well on a clear sky. The group puts up camp around the gate, eats lunch, and takes a little rest after which the clients are shown around the park gate precincts. Walking to the Northern side of the area, one can look down on an awfully beautiful stretch of field with a watering pond, where game love to water. The group members get back to super and have a free time to talk together, share jokes and retire to bed.

DAY 3:

The group enters the park, goes down a hill, cutting through grassland (tussock grass) and turns left leaving the main path and takes a footpath that comes to a stream. A variety of game like gazelles, bushbucks, wild beasts, buffaloes, and leopard’s e.t.c can be seen around this area. The group moves through a small cider forest with Hagenia Absysinica trees growing sparsely, to come to a hut (URUMANDI) Alt. 3000 m. Urumandi is a kimeru name meaning a place where water passes a natural bridge. Here the group gets to explore the depths of the caves and experience the eerie feel of wilderness trekking. Caution when exploring the cave is taken an extremely high priority, such that no one gets hurt in the caves. After the adventure, the group takes a short rest and gets on to eat a light lunch. The group then moves on a fairly steep terrain with giant heath featuring as the main vegetation, with parches of tussock grass here and there. It then crosses a small stream, goes up a hill and comes to the head of upper Nithi Falls. The group rests for a moment as the guide highlights on the safety precautions to be taken when going down to the foot of the falls. The crawl down and up the falls takes about 30 minutes. The clients take pictures, idle and take the cool breezes and water-splashes emanating from the falls. The group then scrambles up the falls, puts on their packs and either traverses to the Mau-Mau caves or goes uphill to the road-head (Alt. 330m) The group takes super, rests and or talks for a while before getting to sleep.

DAY 4:

The group gets up at 5.30 A.M. before eating breakfast, the clients are taken to a vantage position, and facing eastwards, can watch sunrise. This is an occasion that we always emphasize on undertaking since watching sunrise is a memorable thing to do. After this, the group eats breakfast, puts down camp and gets read to leave. Now that the real ascent starts here, (3300m) the guide gets to highlight on the dangers of high altitude hiking, how to recognize and prevent mountain sicknesses and general body ailments related to mountain hiking. The guide also points out on the mode of walking; a slow, steady pace is our way of hiking. We also insist that our client/s drink adequate amounts of water so as to maintain an appropriate body fluid balance. On this day, the group sets out at a moderate pace, walking as a group. Occasional water breaks are taken every now and then after intervals of 30 to 45 min. the group walks along and over the northern side of the ridge overlooking the gorges valley. A strenuous 3 hours trek gets the group to the view point (alt. 4000m). The group eats a light lunch, takes some pictures and takes in the breathtaking beauty of the main peaks, the gorges valley and Lake Ellis to the northeast. After a little rest, the group sets off to tackle a stony, winding and steep part, which leads to a flat terrain, to come to a cliff. The group now moves on a fairly flat ground with occasional up hills to come to Mintos hut (alt. 4300 m) The group puts up camp changes into warm clothes and eats some biscuits and tea. The clients can than be taken on a guided tour of the Hall turns and a walk to the edge of the temple – a cliff that overlooks like Michaelson (300m below). Spectacular views are to be had of the gorges valley, the lake and the Hall’s fields to the west, not to mention the clearly visible peaks – Lenana, Batian & Nelion. The clients then get back to camp and have a free time to either talk together, play cards or share tales and jokes with the porters and guide/s. one can stray around the area, taking note not to wander far off for safety reasons. The group eats super at 6.00 p.m. and rests a while or goes to bed.

DAY5.

The group gets up at around 5.30 A.M. and eats breakfast. There are two option for this day,- Up to Austrian & camp. Up to Austian lenana & back. Opt.1. The group leaves Minto’s hut at 7.30, and ends towards the general direction of the main peaks. Scaling up the lateral moraine below Simba tam is quite tedious and we advise our clients to take it slowly and easily. The group is then guided to the northern ridge of pt. LENANA and scrambles to the summit. This trek takes 4to 5 hours. Opt.2. Alternatively, the group can head towards THE TOOTH via the Square tam, traverse below the southern side of point Lenana to come to Australia hut. The group rests a while then sets off towards the southwestern ridge of pt. Lenana, to come to it’s summit at around 1.00 pm. NB: On day 5 walk to pt. Lenana back either via the tooth or simba Tarn.

Day 6

Walk to the Bandar On a clear day, one can take in the tantalizing scenes below, with pts. Batian and Nelion staring at you to the west. Mt Kirimanjaro ‘s conical Kibo peak can be viewed towards the south on a clear sky. The group now walks down easily to the Minto’s hut where it takes lunch and rest to await dusk, eat super and a good sleep. DAY6. The group wakes up at6.00 AM. and eat breakfast. It is then puts down camp and sets off. The walk down is quite easy through instance when one pulls a muscle are common. On getting to the MT Kenya self-service lodge, the group puts up camp and rest before eating lunch. One is now free to move about or take drinks at the canteen, before eating super and going to sleep. (2) The group sets off at 8.00 AM. at a slow pace .walks northwards and later southwards to come to the square Tam. (taking occasional water breaks). Further hiking brings the group to THE TOOTH where it rests. The traverse across the southern side of pt LENANA is moderate. The group gets to Australia hut, where it puts up camps and eat lunch. Strilling around the area is rather risky as one may fall injuriously, or sink into glaciers common here. Staying indoors here is advisable as temperatures can go down below zero. The group then eats super and rest before retiring to bed.The groups, (clients, guide/s and a few porters depending on their physical fitness can either do the summit of PT. Lenana by night or day. By night, they wake up at 4.30 AM. Have some tea and leave for the summit. This trek may require somebody twisting when going over rocks. If timing is good, the group can get to the summit in the time to watch sunrise ,which again is a beauty to behold. By day , the group wakes up at 6.00 AM. And takes breakfast. It then leaves, heading for the summit of Pt. Lenana to get there after one hour. The clients can then take pictures, look around and walk down to rejoin the rest of the group at Minto’s hut. I t hen proceeds down to the MT Kenya lodge puts up camp, eats lunch and rests. One however free to have a few drinks at the canteen, till dusk and cook super. The group then retires to bed.

DAY 7

The group wakes at 7.00 a.m. and takes breakfast. The clients then pull down their tent/s and prepare to board the car/s down to Chogoria villages, getting there before 1.00 o’clock. The group then bids each other goodbye, and the client/s leave for other destinations.